Feelgood Health

Food Cravings: How To Beat Them and Slim Down

Most of us  know what it’s like to crave a certain food. Suddenly you have this intense desire to eat chocolate, biltong or cheese cake and against your better judgment you will make every effort to ensure that your craving is satisfied.

Food cravings can be very intense and people often feel that they don’t have any control of them especially when they are trying to lose weight. The Feelgood Health team helps you to understand your food cravings, learn to control them and keep your weight down.

What your food cravings say about you

Do you crave sugar or salty foods? Have you ever wondered why you crave specific foods? Understanding your food cravings is very important if you want to control overindulging in unhealthy food choices and keep the weight off.

There are certain physical and emotional factors which can trigger food cravings.  Stress, anxiety, depression, boredom, hormonal changes and even a lack of sleep can lead to food cravings. Some people will crave for comfort foods when they are in a bad mood, feeling stressed, sad or depressed while others crave certain foods when they are in a good mood, rewarding themselves or celebrating.

Women tend to be susceptible to food cravings than men. They experience food cravings when they are premenstrual (often for salty or sweet snacks) and during pregnancy – how often don’t you hear about pregnant moms craving a peanut butter and jam sarmie with pickles?

Nutritionists believe that food cravings are the body’s way of telling us that it lacks certain minerals and nutrients. When you crave sugary foods and carbs, a feel good hormone, serotonin is released and immediately you feel that natural high. Craving salty foods is often a sign that the body is dehydrated due to not drinking  enough water.

According to research cravings actually affect the brain. Nowadays food has become more processed, containing a combination of sugar, salt and fat including various extra preservatives, colourants and sweeteners. These types of processed foods actually trigger your brain to respond which then leads to cravings. For instance, a chocolate bar or cream doughnut is laden with refined sugars which enters the bloodstream faster, producing that high quickly and making you want to eat more. Foods with natural sugar (banana), protein or whole grains sustain you for longer and will not make you crave so much.
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Beat food cravings

There are a number of ways to control your food cravings and win this battle with useful tips:

1. Make healthier food choices

Learn to make smarter food choices by swapping chocolate, pizza or hot chips for plain yoghurt with berries, tuna on rice cakes or a slice of cheese with cucumber. Remember, healthy can still be yummy! It’s all about training your brain to enjoy the new choices you are introducing into your life.

Preparation is key! Keep healthy snacks such as raw almonds, a bag of raisins, fresh fruit or hummus and carrot sticks on hand when you have a craving.

If you want to keep the weight off, use Feelgood Health’s natural weight loss remedies. There are two lovely remedies, EcoSlim and Detox Drops that can help you to reduce your food cravings and achieve your weight loss goals.

EcoSlim is an herbal remedy which contains the ever popular ingredient, Garcinia Cambodia – a natural appetite suppressant, which prevents comfort eating and cravings. It also encourages the breakdown of fats and helps to balance sugar levels.
Detox Drops is especially designed to cleanse and purify the system, improve liver and kidney function and facilitate healthy weight loss.
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2. Distract yourself

Food cravings can hit you like a wave. When you feel that craving trying to take control, distract yourself by painting your nails, reading a book, phoning a friend or working in the garden. Keeping yourself occupied will definitely help to reduce food cravings, proving that that it is mind over matter.
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3. Drink more water

When you feel hungry or think you are craving something to eat, it could be that your body is actually dehydrated and you are thirsty. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day to keep your system hydrated. It’s an excellent way to purify and cleanse the body of toxins.

Another good tip to combat cravings and keep your weight down is to drink water before meals to make you feel fuller quicker and prevent overeating. If you don’t like the taste of water, add some lemon, mint or cucumber for more flavour.
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4. Practice portion control

Learn to cut down on large portions of food and snacks if you are going to indulge. Have three squares of chocolate instead of a whole slab, choose a smaller slice of cake than before or instead of  chips, have  a healthy salad.

While this may be incredibly difficult at first, if you are determined to control your food cravings and manage your weight, you will find the courage and be motivated to follow through.  The more you do it, the easier it will become – promise!
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5. Stress less

Stress and anxiety can play huge a huge part in craving for foods and then overeating. Get to know what triggers your stress levels and find healthier ways to channel them. Learn to practice deep breathing exercises, try yoga, pilates or turn up the music and dance.

For those times when you do feel stressed and anxious, reach for Feelgood Health’s PureCalm natural remedy. PureCalm contains herbal ingredients which are wonderfully soothing and just a few drops will keep you calm and stress-free.
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6. Get a decent night’s sleep

Chronic lack of sleep can leave us run down and lacking in energy. Added to that, skipping breakfast, filling up with coffee and eating ‘on the go’ all contribute to us feeling run down. In other words, our battery ‘runs flat’, usually in the middle of the afternoon, signalling a need for some fast high energy food – a packet of chips, a chocolate or a doughnut is then all too easy to wolf down! 

Prevent this low energy cycle by getting 7 – 8 hour’s sleep (switch off that cell phone!) and have breakfast before you rush out. If you have trouble sleeping, try Feelgood Health’s wonderful herbal sleep drops – Serenite Plus, to help you relax, wind down and feel drowsy.
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Making healthy food choices, avoiding your triggers and staying motivated can help you beat nasty food cravings! Remember, you can still enjoy your favourite foods – only now in moderation!

 

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